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Efficiency at BrewHouse@56

Words by Earnest Lim

Read about how BrewHouse@56 used technology to increase customer satisfaction, reduce bottlenecks and improve workplace safety.

Nestled in the quaint neighbourhood of Sembawang Hills Estate, BrewHouse@56 is a regular haunt for those looking for an ideal drinking spot that serves up excellent Western fusion cuisine.

The wide selection of food at BrewHouse@56 (Image Courtesy of BrewHouse@56)

Being a popular spot for those living around the area, peak timing operations became increasingly tricky to manage with existing manual systems. Prior to upgrading their operations, the BrewHouse@56 staff had to hurriedly hand physical chits of paper containing customer orders from the dining area to the kitchen.

The BrewHouse@56 dining area (Image Courtesy of BrewHouse@56)

This manual workflow resulted in numerous human errors and became a recurring issue for the BrewHouse@56 team. BrewHouse@56 prides itself on its excellent service, hence, this recurring error was troubling enough to spur the management into taking prompt and effective action.

Furthermore, at the end of service, BrewHouse@56 staff had to collate the physical order chits in order to key it into an excel sheet for tabulation & reporting. These manual chits were prone to misplacement, making it even more difficult for the restaurant to accurately calculate daily cost of goods sold. This effect cascaded into inaccurate representations of gross profits for the business.

BrewHouse@56 worked closely with NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) through the WorkPro Job Redesign Initiative to assess its workflow processes in order to identify key areas where technology could provide much needed improvements.

Upon the assessment, BrewHouse@56 identified and implemented new Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems, inventory & kitchen management systems and e-ordering technology. Service staff are now able to take orders via an iPad, where they are sent to the kitchen for production. This has significantly reduced any human errors when taking customer orders. Orders sent via the POS and e-ordering systems are also processed by the inventory and kitchen management system which track ingredients in real-time. This reduces the chances of a stockout and removes the need to perform manual stocktaking and extraction of data from paper to excel.

Additionally, crucial reports can be easily & quickly generated to provide BrewHouse@56‘s management with accurate information for decision making. Additional measures were implemented when upgrading the technological capabilities of BrewHouse@56, for instance, the Novi POS system is cloud-based and has a local server to ensure consistent uptime. Data in the system is constantly backed up automatically, hence, issues with internet connectivity will not cause service to grind to a halt. The management team is also able to view hourly sales reports via any mobile device which allows them to make on-the-spot decisions where necessary.

The project has resulted in significant productivity gains for BrewHouse@56. Service staff no longer have to traverse between the dining area and the kitchen for every order, allowing them to pay more attention to customers and provide a higher quality of service. This reduction in constant movement has also reduced the chances of workplace accidents such as falls and slips. Furthermore, the average ordering time has been cut to under five minutes per table, freeing up manpower for other tasks in the restaurant. The productivity gains resulted in needing one less service staff on-premise as compared to previous operational requirements. This productivity gain was shared with BrewHouse@56’s older worker via a wage increment.

BrewHouse@56 is now able to provide customers with an even higher quality of service, ensuring that it continues to be the go-to spot for those looking for an evening of drinks and great food.

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